Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry said Syria’s rebel delegation was expected in Astana on Wednesday night for peace talks which are taking place this week to end the six year civil war.
A spokesman for the ministry said the rebels would come for consultations with Russia, Turkey and Iran. The Syrian opposition had previously said it would skip the talks.
Al Arabiya reported yesterday that a third round of Russian-backed talks on the Syrian war opened in the Kazakh capital Astana on Tuesday without armed rebel groups, leaving little hope for a breakthrough in ending the six-year conflict.
The talks, sponsored by regime allies Russia and Iran and Turkey, come as other diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed have proved fruitless.
Regime negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari, Syria’s ambassador to the UN, slammed the decision by the rebels to snub the talks but insisted that progress could still be made in their absence. “Representatives of the southern and northern fronts (of the Syrian armed opposition) are expected to arrive tonight,” the spokesman said.
“They will hold consultations tomorrow with experts from the guarantor countries (Russia, Turkey, Iran) on the observation of the cessation of hostilities agreement.” The current round of talks was originally scheduled to end on Wednesday.